HOTEL SHANGRI-LA REGENCY DARJEELING
PLACES OF INTEREST
Chowrasta is the hub of Darjeeling, the place where tourists and locals alike gather during the day and early evening. Being at the top of the ridge that Darjeeling sits on it has some of the best views in town. Take a stroll around Observatory Hill for a peaceful walk that takes in some of the views, and stop off at the view point just beyond the Governors house. There is a viewing platform and benches have been installed, to maximize on the uninterrupted view of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world at 8598 metres. You can also visit the sacred Mahakal Temple, the incarnation of Lord Shiva. Alongside the Mahakal temple is a Buddhist shrine. If you are interested in books call in at the Oxford Bookshop. They have a very good selection of books on the whole region and on various aspects of Buddhism.
Tiger Hill is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Darjeeling, but you will have to get up early to enjoy it at its best! The hill, about 11 km from Darjeeling at an altitude of 8,515 feet, is famous for its spectacular views at sunrise. The top of Mount Everest is visible, between the peaks of Kanchenjunga and Makalu. The trip to the summit of the hill is through Ghoom, the second highest railway station in the world. It is also home to the famous Yiga Choeling Monastery and a 4.5 metre tall image of Maitreya Buddha.
Batasia loop is 5km from Darjeeling. It was built to enable the train to descend the 1000ft drop in altitude between Darjeeling and Ghoom, and is a real feat of engineering . In the middle of the loop is a war memorial to Gorkha soldiers. For more information on the Toy Train visit www.dhrs.org
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
Darjeeling zoo is internationally famous for its conservation breeding of red pandas and snow leopards, and is the only one of its kind in India. You can also see many other types of animals including Siberian Tigers, bears and wolves and Himalayan birds. Its well worth a visit for its scenic location and peaceful atmosphere, as well as the rare species of animals.
Natural History Museum
This small museum has exhibits showing the varied flora and fauna of the Eastern Himalayan region, including butterflies, birds, reptiles and amphibia
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
The HMI was started in 1954, as a result of the success of Tenzing Norgays ascent of Everest with Edmund Hilary in 1953. It has two museums mountaineering and Everest as well as a training department that runs courses in mountaineering.
The Nightingale Park is a pleasant place for a stroll and being at the top of a hill it has stunning views of the Kanchenjunga and the Singla Valley.
Darjeeling-Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway
The Darjeeling ropeway is not for the faint hearted! The Ropeway has cable cars which carry up to 6 passengers from Darjeelings North Point to Bijanbari with aerial views over the lush green tea gardens of the Rangeet valley. The ropeway is a pleasant 40 minutes walk from Chowrastha along Jawahar Road.
Lloyds Botanical Garden
This 40 acre garden is filled with a variety of Himalayan trees, plants and flowers. Situated below the Market Motor Stand, the gardens are laid out on the steep slopes of the hillside. There are hothouses with a range of orchids and exotic flowers.
Tibetan Refugees Self-Help Centre
The centre was set up in 1959 to provide a place for the displaced Tibetans who followed the Dalai Lama into India. There are a wide range of Tibetan arts and crafts on display, including carpets, knitted sweaters and jackets, shawls and wooden furniture.
Tenzing and Gombu Rock
The rock is just beyond St. Josephs School this large rock is used by the HMI to train mountaineers.
Rock Garden and Ganga Maya Park
The Chunnu summer falls , locally known as the rock garden and Ganga Maya park are situated about 8 km from Darjeeling. The road drops down steeply to the park and garden, which is a popular picnic spot with tourists. There is a small waterfall and stream running through the park, and a small lake with boating facilities.
Happy valley tea garden
This is the nearest tea garden to Darjeeling town and is open to tourists, who can see the picking and processing of tea. For more information on Darjeeling tea go to www.darjeelingtea.com